No sooner did the shooting begin at New River Community College than calls flooded dispatch shortly after 1:55. Some of the first callers describe what was said when they saw the shooter, who Christiansburg police say was Neil MacInnis.
Operator: Christiansburg 911. Where is your emergency?
Caller: Hi, someone just ran into the New River Community College with a shotgun and told everyone to run.
Operator: New River Community College with a shotgun?
Caller: Yes, ma'am (inaudible)
Many heard multiple gun shots and paint a chaotic scene seconds after the first shots.
Caller: I am at the mall alongside New River
Operator: Uh huh
Caller: And we just heard a lot of really loud shots, it sounded like. A whole classroom just got up and ran.
Some locked down in stores didn't know what was going on, so they called police to ask. Around 1:58 police begin surrounding the mall and arrested MaCinnis.
Officer: Suspect is in custody.
As police tried to find out how many people were injured, a call came in about a victim.
Caller: Yes, there is a shooting here at the mall, at New River Community College.
Operator: Okay, where are you at right now?
Caller: I am in the back of our restaurant right now at Subway.
Operator: Okay, did you see the shooter?
Caller: We did not, we seen a girl come by our work, holding her hip, she has been shot.
Operator: Okay where is she at right now?
Caller: She is next door to the restaurant beside us, with some people.
Operator: And what is that restaurant?
Caller: That is the Ragu's restaurant.
Operator: Okay, y'all need to stay out of sight and get yourself in a safe place.
Around 2:05 p.m., a lifeguard helicopter was called to scene to transport a victim. Around 2:12, police begin to escort shoppers and students out of the mall to safety, clearing the mall to ensure no other shooters were inside and the worst of it was over with a suspect in custody, and the two victims out of harm's way.